Happy New Year, everyone! My first book of the year, Mercy or Pain, drops tomorrow (Friday 1/8), concluding The Family Business duology. This month, I’ll be digging my heels into the next release (An Insatiable Eventide), which is up for preorder. This book will conclude the original trilogy of Nighttime Cravings. However, I do have a couple of spinoffs planned, which I’m keeping tightlipped about. I also have some planned spinoffs for The Arcadia’s Crest series, so stay tuned. Be sure you’re in my VIP reader group for all the deets.
When I drafted this blog early Wednesday, I had led with “I’m so happy it’s 2021!” Well, as we saw by the afternoon, 2021 seems to be picking up where 2020 left off. 😬 I am praying for peace and some sense of normalcy for us all. I realized after the lockdown that I’d really taken things for granted. I think I’m done with that.
Moving on, here some thoughts I had recently…
Diversity In Romance
I was chatting with an author friend the other day who suggested I include interracial characters in my next release. The main characters in my next book already exist in a previous book, so I can’t undo who they are, but it got me thinking. In my short time publishing books, I have a pretty diverse portfolio. Many readers enjoy relating to the main characters. They like to see themselves, be it in their appearance or background. But then there are readers like me who can read a book and not even think of color because I’m so engrossed in the picture the writer is painting. Books like the Nighttime Cravings Series, On the Other Side, California Love, and The Family Business Duet all feature white leads, but I personally don’t imagine these characters within the construct of our identity-conscious reality. I hope that no matter how I describe a character’s appearance or background in my books, every reader can still get lost in the journey. But with that said, I will continue to write about a myriad of characters from many walks of life.
Looking Forward In 2021
My mantra for this year is peace of mind and growth. As a result, I will be closing certain chapters and starting new ones.
Many of my readers first got to know me through fan fiction. Like many writers before me, I fell in love with a certain couple and needed more words in between the original author putting out the next book. In order to fill that void, I sought out fan fiction in 2015. I’ve read a couple of stories, with one really captivating me, but in the end, I was moved to start writing my own stories. I always wrote in a vacuum, never knowing who was reading. But then I began encountering fans and critics, which prepared me for today. Over the years, each story I put out improved, with my third attempt standing out the most. Needless to say, fan fiction was a solid training ground for what I’m doing now as a published author.
There’s one fanfic story that I’ve been writing since the end of 2018. My goal is the wrap that up well before spring. Once that’s done, I will probably be bowing out of the fandom to focus on several areas of my life: wellness, learning a new language, reading more, and improving my craft as an author (writing, marketing, etc.).
Not counting Mercy or Pain, An Insatiable Eventide, and my secret project, I currently have thirteen book ideas marinating on my spreadsheet. There isn’t a shortage of material, but there is a lack of time. Last year, I had a goal to release six books, not counting the anthology that I was a part of (Fall in Love). I ended up being two books short, though the fifth book is launching tomorrow.
I learned a valuable lesson in 2020. Even though I was home more due to the pandemic, that still didn’t make me crank out six full novels as planned. Because of everything that was going on, I went many days with my heart not really being into writing. You can make all the plans in the world, but if your heart’s not in it, you won’t put out a book you can be proud of. So, this year, my goal is just three books, with one of them already in the can. This means only two books need to be written. Book 1 is all plotted out and will be complete before March. Book 2 isn’t a long project and will only take me a couple of weeks to do. That leaves me with time to strengthen my craft and me. I’m hoping there’s a 4th book in 2021, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t take on any added stress.
By the way, sorry for taking so long to update this blog. I had read something about blogs being a waste of time. Still, I figured as long as I had this space, I should continue to document my journey as an indie writer. If nothing else, I’d like to be able to look back to see how far I came.
I’ll leave you with this snap of one of the gifts my dear, dear friend gave me for Christmas. She’s been my beta since A Nocturnal Rendezvous and continues to be by my side as a strong support and a critical eye. Every writer needs a friend like her—someone who will be honest and will ride with them every step of the way. I’m so blessed to have her.
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks so much for reading. Until next time… ❤️TK 🍒